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Sequestration Sadness The Department of Labor used taxpayer money to hire one of the Washington Nationals’ presidential mascots to cheer up employees when sequestration hit. -3

Trendy Stampede: There was a long line along 14th Street and Florida Avenue NW today outside DTLR as customers tried to snag a pair of these pretty gaudy and not that walking-friendly-looking kicks. -2

Wizard Magic: Charles Barkley said, “I actually think probably the Washington Wizards are probably the third-best team in the Eastern Conference.” Not the most definitive assertion, but, hey, we’ll take it. +3

Not a Belieber: Always one to give advice, the Washington Post‘s Richard Cohen dedicates a column telling Justin Bieber to lay off the gange; “So I say to Mr. Bieber, when a Nobel laureate says stay off the weed, give it some heed.” You may not agree with Cohen, but this column was surprisingly not offensive. +/- 0

Friday’s Needle rating: 38 Today’s score: -2 Friday Bonus: +2 Today’s Needle rating: 38